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Google’s augmented reality game inspires players to duel one other in ‘Braveheart paint’

Published Mar 29th, 2013 10:06PM EDT

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Don’t get freaked out if you see people dressed up like William Wallace trying to zap each other with their Nexus 7 tablets — they’re just playing Ingress, Google’s (GOOG) experimental augmented reality game that first launched last November. AllThingsD reports that since its debut last fall, Ingress has developed a small but loyal cult following around the world that has helped players build bonds with one another as they travel to real-life landmarks and engage in virtual fights with rival factions. Ingress creator John Hanke tells AllThingsD that one recent outing involved roughly 100 Ingress players converging on the monument of William Wallace in Scotland with some showing up “in Braveheart paint with Nexus 7 tablets to play.”

For those unfamiliar with Ingress, it basically lets players use their smartphones as portals to an alternate reality where ordinary objects take on a supernatural significance. The game’s premise, according to its official Google Play page, is that “a mysterious energy has been unearthed by a team of scientists in Europe” who “believe it is influencing the way we think.” Players can choose to either embrace this energy as a powerful new tool or to resist it and become part of a rebellion.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.